Semana Santa in 2020 vs. 2021 in the DR

By: Raul Sosa, 10th Grade

In 2020, due to quarantine, customs in Santo Domingo had to change during Holy Week and the vast majority of the population stayed at home. However, some understood that the measures taken by the Government are correct in the face of the pandemic and what the country was and is going through. 

The traditions of visiting temples, going to misa among some promises that were made on “Viernes Santo”, were not realized because the churches remained closed and the religious activities were carried out virtually. 

Also, activities of the evangelical church such as “Acércate a Dios” which were done in a massive way, were carried out virtually. The Covid-19 pandemic forced humans to accept social distancing, but Christians consulted said that they did not stop saying their prayers from their homes. 

During 2020, many people who don’t go to church and don’t follow any religious traditions and who simply like to go out and have fun during that week were afraid of doing so because the situation was way worse compared to how it is now. Many stayed home bored with nothing to do. 

Also, many people who like to prepare habichuela con dulce and share it with their neighbors couldn’t share it because of the situation, and some didn’t even prepare any because they were afraid of going out to the supermarket.

Semana Santa is looking much better this year, with churches finally being able to open and receive everyone inside with God’s hands. Many churches are looking forward to being able to perform during Holy Week this year, and people who enjoyed going out will most likely be able to, although not until dawn. 

The government has recently moved the quarantine schedule because of Holy Week, with businesses being open from 5 am to 9 pm and free transit being until 12 am from Mondays to Fridays. As for Saturday and Sunday, businesses will be open from 5 am to 7 pm and free transit will be until 10 pm. Many people have had positive reactions towards these changes and hope to be able to finally celebrate Semana Santa the way it is meant to. 

Now that people aren’t afraid of the virus as they used to be, they will be going out to the supermarket, buying the necessary ingredients, and preparing the famous habichuela con dulce this year. Many even think of sharing some with their trustee neighbors and gathering around for an enjoyable time together.

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